The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

No. 7 Vanderbilt routs Tennessee Tech 12-1 in a dominant offensive showing

After falling behind early, the VandyBoys scored in six of their last seven at bats to secure a comfortable win over Tennessee Tech.
Nikita Rohila
Devin Futrell throws a pitch against Tennessee Tech on Mar. 7, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Nikita Rohila).

Looking to build upon a winning weekend at the Cambria College Classic, the No. 7 VandyBoys welcomed the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles to Hawkins Field for the first of five consecutive home games. Thanks to a strong offensive performance led by RJ Scheck and Chris Maldonado, the Commodores cruised to a 12-1 win. 

On the mound for Vanderbilt was junior Grayson Moore, who had struggled to an 8.22 earned run average (ERA) in his first three outings of 2023. The right-hander looked sharp in the first, striking out the side while surrendering just one baserunner to keep the Golden Eagles off the board. 

Tennessee Tech starter Hunter Mann matched Moore with a scoreless first inning of his own. Vanderbilt threatened to take the lead when Schreck and Davis Diaz hit back-to-back singles with two outs, but a strikeout by Jonathan Vastine prevented either from scoring. 

Vanderbilt’s bid for a second consecutive no-hitter ended in the top of the second when shortstop Troy Baunsgard blooped a single down the right field line. He moved up to second base on Moore’s second walk of the day and came around to score on a single from left fielder Austin Turner. The Golden Eagles tried to extend their early lead by bringing first baseman John Dyer home from third while Turner got into a rundown between first and second, but RJ Austin chased down the left-fielder, tagging him out before Dyer could cross the plate. 

“RJ’s a baller,” head coach Tim Corbin said after the game. “If we can keep [the defense] clean then we can give ourselves a chance.”

The Commodores looked primed to level the scoring in the bottom half of the inning when Maldonado smashed a leadoff double into the right field corner. However, the bottom of the lineup failed to bring the freshman home thanks to two groundouts and a lineout that was snagged by third baseman Peyton Mills.

The following inning, Vanderbilt finally got the scoreboard thanks to a solo home run from RJ Schreck. The longball, which hooked inside the right field foul pole and landed on 25th avenue, was Schreck’s third in the last four games.

“He’s got a good acumen for the game,” Corbin said. “Oftentimes when you do a little bit less at the plate you get more and I think he’s starting to get more comfortable.”

Meanwhile, Moore struggled to keep the Tennessee Tech batters off the bases. In the third, he escaped a one-out single thanks to a ground ball double play initiated by Diaz. He looked to have done the same in the fourth when Matthew Polk gunned down Dyer as he was attempting to stretch a single into a double. However, the first baseman was ruled safe after a replay review and with runners on second and third with two outs, Moore gave way to sophomore Devin Futrell. Futrell struck out catcher Will Long to end the threat, leaving Moore’s final line at one run on five hits to go along with five strikeouts. 

The Golden Eagles made a pitching change of their own in the bottom of the fourth, turning to senior Colt Taylor in relief. Taylor immediately ran into trouble, walking Vastine and tossing a wild pitch to allow him to move into scoring position. Maldonado’s second hit of the day, a bloop single to center, brought Vastine around to score, giving the VandyBoys their first lead of the day. 

That lead was extended not long after, when, following a double from Parker Noland and a walk from Jack Bulger, Polk grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Maldonado. After Noland was picked off third for the second out of the inning, it looked as though Taylor had finally escaped the jam. However, a walk to Bradfield Jr. saw his day end before the inning could come to a conclusion. His successor, Andrew Guardino, failed to perform much better, surrendering a two-run single to Austin and an RBI double to Schreck before recording the final out. 

The VandyBoys continued to build upon their lead throughout the next few innings. In the fifth, Vastine led off with a walk before Maldonado drilled a double to right-center, bringing him home for the second time.

“For a young kid to hit the ball the other way, doing it twice the other way… it was a better attack tonight,” Corbin said. 

Maldonado came around to score a few batters later when Polk punched a sacrifice fly into left. The following inning, Schreck reached base for the fourth time on a walk and came around to score when Diaz launched his second home run of the year over the left field fence. Two more walks and a single from Noland brought the total to eleven before the end of the sixth.

“The team is just doing a really good job staying together,” Schreck said. “Everyone’s picking each other up… so if one guy doesn’t get the job done the next guy comes right back up.”

With a comfortable lead in hand, the Vanderbilt bullpen took control and rolled through the Tennessee Tech lineup. Futrell picked up three strikeouts in a scoreless fifth before giving way to Bryce Cunningham, who sat the Golden Eagles down in order in the sixth on just nine pitches. He was equally as efficient in the seventh, striking out two batters and eliciting a groundout en route to a 1-2-3 inning. 

“We need to get some efficiency from some pitchers… [and] as the game wore on I thought we became more efficient,” Corbin said. 

After Austin doubled and came around to score in the bottom of the seventh, Corbin turned to graduate student Jack Anderson for the first time this season. The right-hander kept his scoreless streak, which dates back to the beginning of last year, alive, retiring all six of the batters he faced while securing a win for the Commodores.

The VandyBoys will be back on the field at 4:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 8 to face off against Evansville at Hawkins Field.

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About the Contributors
Luke Rollfinke
Luke Rollfinke, Senior Staff Writer
Luke Rollfinke ('25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science planning to major in mathematics with a minor in communications. Luke loves all things sports, so when he's not writing for The Hustler, he's probably either playing for a club or intramural Vanderbilt sports team. You can reach him at [email protected].
Nikita Rohila
Nikita Rohila, Senior Staff Photographer
Nikita Rohila ('25) is from a small town in Arkansas and is majoring in psychology and medicine, health and society in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Deputy Social Media Director. During her free time, she enjoys roaming around the city and getting cinematic-style shots for her photography account! You can reach her at [email protected].
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